- Control 1 to 4 axes of piezo nanopositioning stages in open or closed-loop operation
- Configurable open-loop and closed-loop control in one controller platform
- High-precision 20-bit sensor resolution for capacitive sensor feedback in closed-loop operation
- Thermally-stable feedback circuit design
- Configurable, high-resolution analog input for external feedback sensor integration or command generation
- Advanced control features such as learning control, harmonic cancellation and command shaping improve tracking error and overall process throughput
- Touch screen with intuitive menu-driven interface for quick and easy access to system functionality
- Ethernet and USB 2.0 communication interfaces
- CE approved and NRTL safety certification; follows the 2011/65/EU RoHS 2 Directive
- Advanced Windows-based remote diagnostics, tuning, and programming interface software
- Program in AeroBasic using Aerotech's IDE or create custom remote interfaces with Microsoft .NET including C#, VB.NET, C++/CLI, LabVIEW, MATLAB, EPICS, or TANGO
Using the processing power of a dual-core 456 MHz, double precision, floating-point DSP, the QLAB provides exceptional performance for a wide variety of applications. The front panel interface allows an operator to quickly execute simple operations such as jogging and moving to fixed positions. For more complex operations, the Ensemble QLAB has onboard memory for storing programs that can be accessed from the front panel or through remote control.
High Resolution and Optional Ultra-Precise FeedbackUsing the latest technology and high-resolution A/D and D/A converters, the QLAB enables sub-nanometer positioning resolution at high bandwidths. With the optional integrated capacitance sensor, the QLAB provides low noise performance over the full travel range. An Aerotech-developed linearization method achieves linearity better than 0.01% over the full travel range in closed-loop mode. The QLAB employs a proprietary capacitive sensor feedback circuit results in industry-leading thermal stability and exceptional long-term holding stability.
Precision I/OIn addition to the four optically-isolated digital inputs, two high-speed digital inputs and four optically-isolated digital outputs, the Ensemble QLAB is equipped with four analog inputs and four analog outputs. The analog inputs can be programmatically configured to accept an external feedback sensor or position command. The analog outputs can be used for monitoring position or voltage output.
Advanced Software and Control Features
The Ensemble QLAB uses advanced PID servo loops with advanced feedforward and multiple integrators coupled with eight programmable filters to supply the user with all necessary tools needed to optimize motion performance. Additional software options such as the Dynamic Controls Toolbox and Motion Designer packages make available a host of advanced, yet easy-to-use, tools such as Learning Control, Harmonic Cancellation, Command Shaping, and Cross-Axis Feedforward to improve tracking errors and provide faster step-and-settle times.
Learn more about our controls and software HERE.
Touch Screen InterfaceIn addition to the front key-panel, the Ensemble QLAB comes equipped with a full color, touch-enabled LCD display. An intuitive tabbed interface provides single-press access to all setup and operation screens.
Powerful Programming FunctionalityThe Ensemble QLAB is programmed in an easily readable BASIC-like syntax, off-line, with a graphical user interface in Windows®, featuring an intuitive Program Editor, Variable Output window, Compiler Output window and Task State monitor. After the programs are developed and tested they can be downloaded and stored on the controller for future use. Alternatively, the user can continue to program and operate the QLAB from a host PC, if so desired.
Multitasking CapabilityUp to four programs can run simultaneously on the Ensemble QLAB, allowing for easy partitioning of complex operations. One task could be used for motion while the remaining tasks are used for process control, or the controller could be configured to operate four separate programs controlling four piezo stages.
Software DriversThe Ensemble QLAB includes full compatibility with both EPICS and TANGO distributed control protocols. In addition, a suite of LabVIEW® VIs are available. Precoded LabVIEW® VIs, AeroBasic™ programming functionality, MATLAB® library, .NET tools for C#, VB.NET, and C++/CLI or C make the Ensemble even easier to use. See the Ensemble Control home page for detailed information on software capabilities and ordering options.
Automatic Parameter Configuration
Aerotech’s piezo stages all include a “FlashConfig” feature that stores all of the parametric information required to operate the stage. The stage is automatically identified and all operational parameters including axis calibration data are uploaded into the Ensemble QLAB, ensuring safe, accurate and true “plug-and-play” operation.
Thermal Stability Comparison
Piezo controller design can have a significant effect on thermal stability causing excessive error in precision motion applications. See our Technical Note where we briefly describe some techniques used for controlling thermal effects and compare the thermal stability of our piezo control electronics with a competitive design.
Ensemble QLAB Specifications
|Number of Axes||1 to 4|
|Processor||Dual-core 456 MHz, Double Precision, Floating Point DSP|
|Power Supply||100-240 VAC; 50/60 Hz|
|Voltage Output||-30 to +150 V|
|Sensor Type||Open-Loop or Capacitive Sensor (Closed Loop)|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Bit|
|Continuous Power Output||20 Watts per Channel; 80 Watts Total|
|Peak Current Output(1)||300 mA per Channel|
|Continuous Current Output||130 mA per Channel|
|Digital Inputs||Four Optically Isolated; Two High-Speed; One ESTOP|
|Digital Outputs||Four Optically Isolated|
|Analog Inputs||Four 18-Bit Effective; Configurable for External Feedback or External Command Input|
|Analog Outputs||Four 16-Bit; Configurable for Position or Voltage Monitoring|
|Position Synchronized Output (PSO)||Single-Axis|
|Communication Interfaces||10/100 Base T Ethernet; USB 2.0|
|Expansion Interface||USB 1.1|
|Servo Loop Update||20 kHz|
|Programming Environment||Multi-Tasking AeroBasic|
|Operating System Requirements for Remote Programming and Diagnostic Tools||Windows 7|
|Standards||CE approved, NRTL safety certification, 2011/65/EU RoHS 2 Directive|
- Peak current can be applied for a maximum of 10 ms.
|Series||Line Voltage||Number of Axes||Feedback Type||PSO Output||Line Cord|
Ensemble QLAB Multi-Axis Piezo Motion Controller
1-4 axis desktop, stand-alone, piezo nanopositioning stage motion controller. Features include:
Line Voltage (required)
|-A||115 VAC input|
|-B||230 VAC input|
|-C||100 VAC input|
|-D||200/208 VAC input|
Number of Axes (required)
|-1AX||Configured for 1 axis|
|-2AX||Configured for 2 axes|
|-3AX||Configured for 3 axes|
|-4AX||Configured for 4 axes|
- Note: If the Feedback Type is not selected, all axes will operate in open-loop mode.
Feedback Type (optional)
|-MXC1||Configured for 1 axis of capacitance sensor feedback|
|-MXC2||Configured for 2 axes of capacitance sensor feedback|
|-MXC3||Configured for 3 axes of capacitance sensor feedback|
|-MXC4||Configured for 4 axes of capacitance sensor feedback|
- Note: All closed-loop channels must occur on the controller axis count before the open-loop channels. For example, if two axes of closed-loop and one axis of open-loop are desired, three axes are selected (-3AX) and –MXC2 is selected, which will give channels 1 and 2 as cap feedback and channel 3 as open-loop.
PSO Output (optional)
|-PSO||Single-axis Position Synchronized Output|
Line Cord (required)
|-ENGLAND||UK compatible line cord|
|-GERMANY||German compatible line cord|
|-ISRAEL||Israel compatible line cord|
|-INDIA||India compatible line cord|
|-AUSTRALIA||Australia compatible line cord|
|-US115VAC||US 115 VAC line cord|
|-US230VAC||US 230 VAC line cord|
|-NOLINECORD||No line cord|
Ensemble Software Options
|-DYNAMIC CONTROLS TOOLBOX||The Dynamic Controls Toolbox provides control algorithms that increase system performance such as settle time, accuracy, in-position stability and/or velocity stability.|
|-LABVIEW||LabVIEW® VI samples|
Aerotech offers both standard and custom integration services to help you get your system fully operational as quickly as possible. The following standard integration options are available for this system. Please consult Aerotech if you are unsure what level of integration is required, or if you desire custom integration support with your system.
|-TAS||Integration - Test as system
Testing, integration, and documentation of a group of components as a complete system that will be used together (ex: drive, controller, and stage). This includes parameter file generation, system tuning, and documentation of the system configuration.
|-TAC||Integration - Test as components
Testing and integration of individual items as discrete components that ship together. This is typically used for spare parts, replacement parts, or items that will not be used together. These components may or may not be part of a larger system.